Lyme Disease rash pictures may be kind of ugly to look at, but they offer an excellent way to help you self-diagnose EM.

Man with hand on back of bent neck

Headache and achy joints? Lyme disease rash pictures can help identify your symptoms.

One of the simplest ways to self-diagnose Lyme Disease is to review Lyme Disease rash pictures. The famous rash erythema migrans (EM) is inarguably the most definitive symptom of Lyme Disease — and it’s one that any doctor worth his or her salt will immediately take seriously.

That Said…

In at least 40% of all Lyme Disease cases, neither the patient nor their caregivers ever identify an EM rash. Could it be that Lyme Disease is just capricious and variable in its symptoms (which is certainly a possibility), or is there something more going on here?

In many cases, the problem is simply one of noticing EM when it occurs. First of all, the rash may occur in some location that you can’t easily check, such as the buttocks, the back of the legs, or on the scalp.

And even in this day and age, most people can’t recognize an EM rash even when they see it. Many who do see one may think it’s ringworm or some other problem and will ignore it, hoping it will go away. That’s not as unreasonable as it sounds, since most skin problems do eventually go away by themselves.

Inconsistent Nature

A worse problem is that EM can fool you: it doesn’t always take the form of a ringed bull’s-eye, though that’s the most easily identifiable form. EM can also present as blotchy, linear, oval, or irregular in form. Worse, it may mimic a bruise on darker-skinned people.

These are the situations where EM rash photos especially come in handy, because they reveal the true variability of the symptom. It’s one thing to be told EM looks like a bull’s-eye, but that can be misleading if you’re not made aware that it can look like something else, and still be EM.

Note, too, that even if the rash does look kind of like a bull’s eye, you shouldn’t assume that it has to be perfectly round to be EM! Even EM bull’s-eyes tend to be somewhat irregular in shape; they won’t look just like an archery target.

Another Caution

If a tick has bitten you and a rash appears anywhere, even if it’s not near the tick bite, take it seriously. Lyme Disease researchers have recently become aware that multiple EM rashes may appear after a bite, as the Borrelia spirochete spreads through the body.

It’s even possible for the original rash to be so faint at the original bite location that it’s not obvious at a casual glance.

Now What?

While there are plenty of physical books you can consult for EM rash photos, we recommend the Internet as a ready source for research. Just type “Lyme Disease rash”, “bull’s-eye rash”, or “erythema migrans” into a search engine like Google, and select the Images option. You’ll be overwhelmed by the number of photos.

Fair warning: some of them can be kind of gross, and require exposure of body parts that you may not want to see. But hey, we’re doing medical research here.

You’ll see that while most of the rashes are in fact bull’s-eye shaped, many aren’t. You’ll also quickly become aware of how many different places they can occur, how nasty even this simple skin inflammation can be, and the wide age range of the people affected.

Now, don’t assume that you have Lyme Disease because you have a similar rash. You may not; this isn’t enough for an accurate diagnosis. But hopefully, any similarities will encourage you to see a doctor — and that may be the most important lesson that Lyme Disease rash pictures like these can teach you.